Monday, January 31, 2005

Weekend Update...but not with Tina Fey

Well I had a busy weekend. Eh, not really. Friday night I went out with my friends, and we went to this restaurant and the manager guy gave us all this free food and spumanti and stuff. He was totally into one of my friends, which was kinda icky because he was like twice her age. But on the plus side, at least it wasn't me this time =) On Saturday on my way to the train station I had two Jehovah's Witnesses try to convert me, just while I was walking down the street. They are aggressive here, I guess! Then I went to Verona to go shopping with my friends, and we had fun. We got to see Juliet's balcony, which was pretty nifty. We also rubbed the Juliet statue for good luck. Verona is really pretty; I want to go back one of these days just to explore, not just to shop. It's pretty close, about an hour south, and a train ticket is like €15 round trip. As for Sunday...I'm figuring out here that Sundays are just really lazy days. Everything is closed, so there's nothing to do but do homework and lay around the house. And go to church, of course. So that's what I did. I finished my hw for today, finished my novel that I was reading for class, started work on my postcards (I have a lot to send! And you're only getting one if you e-mailed me your address, so beware! And do it now if you haven't already and you want one), went to church, hung out with my roommates some...very low-key. But not in a bad way...just slightly boring. Especially since I can't kill time playing online! This morning I went to an orientation for one of the facolta' here, lettere, and we went through the classes offered here. Not the schedule, mind you, but the classes (like looking through the general catalogue instead of the schedule of classes, Cal people). The trip to Pompei class isn't being offered this year, but instead they're doing a trip to Rome, ie the archeology of Rome. So that'll be cool! I'm going to try to do that one. And this afternoon, more class, then I have to go to a suburb of Trento (last stop on the bus line...) to collect info for a presentation on the suburb tomorrow. Fun fun!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Pazzi!

Our teachers here sometimes ask us what we think of Italy and Trento and all that, and they get offended and defensive when we tell them that we think the school system is disorganized. But, sorry ragazze, it's totally true. Classes start up sometime within the next month, and I have no idea what's being offered. They don't know what's being offered. The classes can be cancelled at any moment, if the professor decides to not show up. You don't actually sign up for classes either; if you show up for the final exam, that means you're taking the class. Of course, that would be kind of good, it means you can "drop" the class whenever. But sadly for the UC students, we have to tell UC ahead of time what we're taking, so we can't take advantage of this one good thing. So yeah, I still have no idea what I'll be taking or when classes will be or anything. Which makes trying to travel tricky business. I'm trying to arrange to go to Venice next weekend for Carnevale, but the places to stay are also being tricky. So much trickiness going on. Indeed.

I have an academic orientation this afternoon for an uncertain yet quite long amount of time. I'm hoping they'll give me a clue as to how to find classes before, like March. Oh, and guess what I got to do yesterday...watch Scrubs! Yup, they show it here on MTV (I don't know), and they're like a season or two behind us, I don't remember, I think it's two. But it was still pretty nifty. I watched Gilmore Girls, or "A Mom for a Friend" as it's called here, earlier in the week. It's actually easier for me to understand dubbed American stuff a lot of times because the speakers are more clear when it's just dubbed then when people are just speaking their lines in regular Italian shows. Plus, let's be honest, better writing from the American shows. The Italian "Fame" I watched, just painful. I kept wanting to laugh at the "serious, deep thoughts" expression the one guy had all the time.

Tomorow I'm going to Verona to go shopping (an hour South by train), so that should be yay. All the after-Christmas sales are still going on. I probably won't be online anymore this weekend, though. So have a good weekend, everybody!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Stupid blogger wasn't working yesterday so I couldn't update. I did try, though. It's been crazy windy here the last couple of days, like if I had an umbrella out I could fly home to CA right quick. Of course that means it's super cold, but thankfully today it seems to have died down, and I have a whole new appreciation for the regular cold weather without the wind =) Yesterday my friend and I did a cardio kickboxing class (of sorts) at a gym here, just to try it out. It was easier to follow along than I thought it would be, though, cause I didn't have to really know what he was saying, I could just watch and imitate what he did with a little time delay. I have to say, though, it was way easier than the classes at the RSF (except that he made us do jump rope for a bit...I hate hate jump rope). But it's kinda far from home and kind of expensive, so I don't know if we're going to actually sign up for the gym or not.

Oh, I have good news--I actually got into a law school! William and Mary (in Virginia) accepted me. So now even if everyone else tells me to hit the road, at least I have something to do come August. Of course, that means no more excuse to just sit at home and do nothing. Oh well, it's a trade off, I guess.

Yesterday was officially two weeks since I came to Trento. I can't believe it's only two weeks--I feel like I've been here for months. I have to say, May sounds forever away. I'm having fun here, but I miss California and all you guys. I'll be really glad to come home =)

This morning I went to the mercato in town (they have one every Thursday) and it's like the best thing ever. Just a whole bunch of people selling everything. Except the book guy wasn't there today =( I wanted to go back and look at books. Oh, and I think I've lost my watch (the clasp was loose, and I think it fell off yesterday), so I was looking for those too, but I didn't see any. This afternoon, more class--woo. At least stupid ILP (the class I'm doing now) is almost half over. Yay.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm a chef!

Ok, not really a chef. But today instead of regular class we went to a restaurant in a town about a half an hour away by bus, and we learned how to make canederli, strudel, and grostoli. It's too much to explain it all here, but it was good! I don't know if I'd be able to make it all on my own, though. Maybe sometime when I'm feeling brave...

Last night when I got home I spent a while talking with roommate number 5, and my suspicions were correct, she is indeed super nice! She has a dog at home (Verona) named Lucky, and (s)he is super cute. I didn't end up doing any of my homework last night cause I was super tired, though, but as I said, I figure even chatting in Italian counts as productivity. And she told me I talk fast, too! See, even in Italian...although I'm convinced most of my roommates think I'm all quiet and stuff.

I'm exploring options for mobile wireless, like so I could get online from my apartment, but it seems pretty expensive. €249 for the card and then €20 a month for 20 hours. So I don't know if that's something I'm actually going to try or not.

Speaking of random things, you know what else sucks here? Crosswalks. You can wait like five minutes to get a crosswalk light, and it's hard to jaywalk because you can't see the stoplighs for the cars, so it's really hard to tell who has the green light that you need to avoid when they're coming! And cars here don't sl0w down for pedestrians. It's very un-Berkeley like. If I don't die here of the cold, there's a good chance I'll die hit by a car or something. Oh, and it's amazing how reading Vanity Fair (book, not magazine) becomes as easy a read as like John Grisham just because it's in English and I don't have to guess what half the words mean. I read a bit last night (first time since I got here) and that was some relaxing stuff, gotta say. But today I'm going back to the library...again now that I know it closes at 6:30 so showing up at 7 would be bad...to get some more books for my presentation. So probably no more english reading for me. But it was fun for a bit, at least.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Oh, and I finally did laundry, but that'll take more time to give a proper description of my formerly white now gray shirts and their current "crunchy" state.

Number Five

I finally met roommate number five! About time. I didn't talk to her too much, but she seems nice so far. This weekend I did a bunch of work for my class, which was not super fun, but mildly satisfying that I can do this reading in Italian. I went to a restaurant that I had to do a presentation on for class, and the people there were so super nice!! He practically wrote half my presentation for me. It was really elegant, but they had a pizzeria there too, so we didn't actually end up spending too much money. After we went to an "english pub" bar and I was introduced to the tequila boom boom...now that's a drink. Yesterday did mostly work and went to church, again in the same fancy place as before. It's really cold in there, I gotta say. Not so much with the heating system. Right now I'm on break for my class, so I have to run back soon. Last night I was watching this new Italian show which I think is like Fame. I had a of trouble understanding this one guy on the show, but my roommates said it was because he spoke the Roman dialect! Now how are people supposed to understand that, I ask you. On the one hand it was procrastinating, not doing real homework, but I've decided that anything I do here that is in Italian (read Cosmo, watch TV, talk with roommates) should count as being productive because it's practicing my Italian! Seems fair to me =)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

It's kind of funny that my heavy coat in Berkeley is now my light coat in Trento. I'm wearing it today--I just couldn't take the heavy coat anymore. It's not super cold today, so that's good, and I just really am sick of it. I think we are all tired of the winter weather, we want to take a trip to southern Italy to find some warm weather for a change. Maybe in a few weeks when this stupid class is over. Today I'm off to the library to find books on my topic for my oral presentation number 5 (reformation, counterreformation, and the Council of Trent) and then go to a restaurant to do some recon work for oral presentation number 1. But I did wake up early enough to get to the computer lab, so I feel like I've already been productive. And, increasing the good news of the day, Scrubs is now available for preorder on DVD! Well, season one, of course. It doesn't come out until May 17th, but at least now we know it's actually being released. And about damn time.
I was thinking about it, and periodically I try foods that I don't like again just to make sure that I still don't like them. Sometimes I like foods more now than I used to, and sometimes I realize I still hate them (ie brussel sprout). And I was thinking this morning that coming to Trento was like checking on my liking cold weather. Do I still dislike it, or was that more born out of habit than anything else? But I'm pretty sure, I still don't like it. I hate being cold, and I hate being a marshmellow in a giant coat. I'm so ready for skirts and sweaters, but I think I have to wait til like May for that, when I will be back in the States...Four months of pants and giant coats. Ick. Oh well, at least the snow is pretty.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I quit

I quit Italy. I just tried to send my article to Melanie, but apparently disks are formatted differently here in crazyland. So I opened up my laptop again and just retyped the whole damn thing again. My fingers are tired, and I hate italian internet. Or lack thereof, as the case may be.

Hmph

So I brought my damn laptop to the computer lab and plugged it all in and stuff, and nothing! Nothing, I tell you. And so I asked a guy in the room (cause they had little flyers on the wall talking about getting online, but they didn't really help that much) and he told me to go to this one place and talk to a guy there. So now I have to try that instead. I swear, they make it as difficult as possible to do something so simple as be connected to the whole world in cyberspace... Anyways, I was just gonna post a bunch of pictures today, so that ruined those plans. Test went fine today, but how rude is this, I ask you? Towards the end of the test, the two teachers were sitting there (while some people were still taking it, mind you), and looking over the tests and laughing!! How mean is that?? Seriously, right in front of us, giggling. Not appropriate. Oh, and another random thing...so the apostrophe on the italian keypoard is right next to the 0 at the top (very strange indeed), and it's scary, I think I've gotten used to reaching way up there to hit the apostrophe way too muchy, cause when I was typing on my laptop, I was reaching up to the 0 to type all my apostrophes! My poor brain can't handle it all. Anyways, Not too much to report from here. I probably won't be able to get online over the weekend, so you might not hear from me til Monday. Unless something magical happens and the guy helps me connect my laptop in the next half hour, in which case, pictures! Hope everyone's enjoying themselves and has a good weekend... =)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Note to self...

So you know what's funny? The blogger website here is totally in Italian. I don't know how it knows that I'm in italy, cause the URL is the same as the american one (you know I don't understand how these crazy computer things work) but it knows and the whole site is in Italian. So anyways, last night a bunch of us went to a bar here called Gasoline (it's an "American bar," meaning they play old American music and have NBA stuff up on the wall) which I'm guessing is the only thing to do here on a Wednesday night. Small town and all. But we had fun, I met some Italian guys who were friendly (not surprising) and chatted with some italians I had met before. Anyways, I left at some point to go outside to talk on the phone, and it was a really crappy connection so I wandered around a bit until I found a good place, and then I didn't move at all for fear of losing it. So I'm standing on this street, and this guy slows down in his car, and kinda pulls over. I turned my back to him and walked away, and then he drove away, but then made a circle and came back and did it again! He thought I was a hooker. And over the next like 10-15 minutes, like six more cars did it! They were trying to wave me into their cars and stuff. I kept moving away or trying to wave them off (one guy actually waved back at me), but they all thought I was a prostitute. And for the record, I was completely not dressed hooker-like. It's cold here, after all. So after I got on the phone, I asked some people who have been here since September, and they said, oh yeah, this is where the guys go to pick up prostitutes, they always try to pick up whatever girls are out there (even if they're just on the phone and not actually hookers!). So yeah, note to self, don't stand on Via Tommaso Gare at night. (Don't worry mom, none of them tried to grab me or anything, I was fine.) First time I've ever been mistaken for a hooker, as far as I know. And something similar happened to another friend last night when she was walking home. For shame.

First real test tommorrow in my italian class, so we'll see how that goes. Yesterday she spent 20 minutes going over when to use formal and when to use informal...I wanted to poke my eyes out. She's very nice, but Lord, does she focus on some stupid things. I've also started reading my book for my oral report, and I'm happy, it's actually enjoyable so far! So we'll see how that goes. Problem is I just feel like I read so slowly in Italian...I can't just skim like I can in english and still pick up the words...I have to go one by one, it's so darn slow. Oh, tomorrow I'm going to bring my laptop to the mysterious room across the hall and see if I can hook it up, so if it actually works, I'll have pictures! Mostly of snow-covered ness =)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Snow!

Guess what...you can probably tell from the title, it snowed yesterday! It was so cool. After classes and stuff, we went to get gelato (cause even if it's freezing, it's still a good time for super yummy gelato!) and when we walked outside, what do you know, it was snowing! We were all super excited (except for one girl, but she was just a wet blanket). Instead of being a smart girl and going home, I went to a bookstore (and got several books, including a biography of Catherine the Great (in italian) to practice with =) ) and by the time I left, snow was everywhere!! It was so beautiful, I had to call my mom and tell her. (cause it was only like 8am back home) When I got home I actually left again and walked around the street and the park near me to take pictures, cause I hadn't brought my camera with me to town today, and I was afraid it would be all gone before today. After dinner and stuff, three of my roommates and I decided to go and play in the snow! They were excited about it too cause it doesn't snow here very often, like once a year or something. We walked to the main piazza (the duomo), and started a snowball fight with some spaniards who were out there. It was super fun--we ended up really wet, but it was warm enough while we were playing. We hung out with them for a bit, and I tried this drink that apparently the spaniards make often, called Calimocha (sp?) which is just red wine and coca-cola. We went home eventually (not to the bars with them) cause we were freezing after standing still for a while, and I got to take a nice warm shower...yay. And I actually went to bed at a respectable time, after 1. Thank goodness, I was getting worried about myself. I took a bunch of pictures of the snow and stuff, and I feel myself closing in on figuring out how to hook up my laptop...but in the meantime, Matt found a picture here http://www.unitn.it/giftrento/duomo.gif this is the center of Trento, and where I went to church on Sunday. Isn't that super cool? =) Lunch soon, and then afternoon class today instead of morning. Oh, and I'm still gonna try to write an article for the patriot, I just got an idea today for something...so someone can tell Melanie not to forget about me (even though she didn't assign me anything, crazy lady, you can yell at her for that too ;-) )

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Internet two days in a row...wow!

Ah, back in what is now my favorite computer lab. Too bad it's hard to type because my fingers are cold. Anyways, this morning I walked to class with my least nice roommate, and she was actually nicer to me! Twas a good thing. She showed me a shortcut to the city that I knew existed, but I didn't know where it was. I thought of something I wanted to tell about, but darned if it hasn't completely disappeared. Some of the locals have said that the last few days it's been colder than ususal, which is just great of course. I finally started wearing my hat (I've been avoiding it cause I think I look silly), but what do you know, it's actually warmer! So maybe I should stick with it. I still can't figure out where to plug in my laptop to get online, cause when you try to ask these italian people,they really don't understand what the heck you're saying. I got my projects for this class assigned today (well, some of them). I have to go around to these various places in trento and give oral reports on them, and I also have to read a book and do an oral report and then have a test on it. Boring stuff. I also finally found the grocery store near my apartment. You know they charge for plastic bags at the grocery store? Well they do. And also for ketchup packets. There is this fast food pizza/fries/tiramisu place here that we went to on Sunday cause almost everything else was closed, and they charged for ketchup. But the fries were good! They are quite popular here, actually, lots of restaurants have them. Anyways, more orientation stuff this afternoon, then we're getting gelato (cause some of my friends are determined to get it, and have been trying since like Friday). Hope life is going well for everyone too, if I recall correctly today was the first day of class for people at Cal, so I hope that went (or goes, seeing as it's still Monday night over there) well!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Ok, more time now...

Mwahaha, found another room. My last post was super long already, so I don't know if I really have that much more to say. If you guys leave comments (and please do!!) don't forget to leave your name in the comment, so I know who you were. Mille grazie! Oh, and Bridget Jones' diary 2 here is called, "what a mess, bridget jones!" We went to see it two nights ago, and I was really glad I'd seen it in english already. Tonight they're showing Miss Congeniality on tv, and I think I'm going to try to watch that too, to practice italian some more. Oh, and my roommate told me my italian is good, so maybe it's not as bad as I thought. =) Ok, that's better. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow!!

Finally on a computer!!!

Wow, you have no idea how hard it is to get to the internet until you come to a "third-world country," as my dad would say. I only have access to one computer lab on campus (because for some reason, we're only allowed to go to one department's lab, not all of them. Crazy Italians), and of course my computer lab closes at noon on Saturdays and is closed all day Sunday. So weekends, not so good for being online. And there's going to be a class here in twenty minutes, so I've got to type fast!! (which is hard when some of the keys are different) Anyways, I've moved into my apartment, which I'm sharing with 5 girls. Yup, 5. Only met 4 so far. My actual roommate is super nice. One of the other girls is pretty nice. The girl I just met yesterday is ok, and one other girl acknowledges my existence. So there's a range. I'm still not really comfortable in the apartment yet, I still feel like an interloper, cause they've all been living there a while now, but I'm hoping that will get better. I've been hanging out with the americans in my group during the day, shopping (had to buy a warmer coat--it's so cold here!!!) and stuff. I started today the four-week course that we have that's just UC students. It seems like it's going to be pretty boring so far, but oh well. I just gotta get through it! I have more class this afternoon, not really class, more like stuff I have to do with everyone. Let's see, nothing to interesting to report, really. My apartment is about a 15-20 minute walk from where my class right now is, which isn't so bad. Except for the freezing part. The city is really beautiful, and if it were only like 40 degrees warmer, I'd be in heaven. Yesterday I went to mass in the main cathedral of the city (can't post a picture because I haven't figured out how to hook up my laptop to the internet yet) and I was glad because I understood more than I thought I would! Drat, people are coming in, I don't know if I have to leave yet. I still have 15 minutes, people!! I'm going to try to come in during the week every day, so I won't get so far behind. If you e-mail me or somethng, sorry if it takes me forever to respond. Oh, speaking of responding, I have a cell phone!! If anyone gets inspired to call (or more likely, text message me), you can do so at 039 339 530 4362. The 039 is the country code. And if you are super cool and text me, tell me in the body who you are so I don't have to guess from the message please =) I tried sending out a text message a couple of days ago, but I didn't get a response (ahem, Mike) so I don't know if it was received or not. Ok, I'm gonna try to find another room with co mmputers in this department before I get kicked out.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Ok, maybe I have more time now. Who knows. Continued from last post. So after 20 hours of travelling I finally made it to Trento, which was difficult with two tons of baggage my friend Marianne (who I met up with in Paris) and I had. But Italian people are so nice!! So many guys helped us with our bags. We never would have made it without them. And two hours in Italy, I already had my first Italian stalker guy on one of the trains. Kinda creepy, I gotta say. So I stayed at the hostel here the first two nights, and was with three other UC girls, two from Berkeley and one from UCSD. They were all super nice and we have had fun together. I got assigned an apartment, which I'm going to momentarily. Sadly I don't seem to be living too close to my UC friends (three berkeley people and the UCSD girl) but hopefully we won't be too far away. I'm living with all italians, apparently, which scares me to death because that means that I will be the only one who doesn't speak great italian. Speaking of which, I feel so in over my head here. I hope I catch up quicky, because right now I feel like the biggest dumbass, totally inferior in my capabilities (not compared to the other UC students, but when I try to speak with Italians, it's just painful, to me). Ok, gotta go now. She's here. Fingers crossed it's a good apartment!

...hello Italy!

Ciao everyone! I don't know how long I have here (I'm at the study center here in Trento waiting to get my apartment, and so I'm just killing time). Crap, I think she's here now. So I'm alive, that's all I can say. I'll be back later!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Oh, and guess how many pairs of flip-flops I'm bringing with me? ..........just one. Can you believe it? I've managed to restrain myself, seeing as I'm going to the land of cold and snow. You should all be proud.

Goodbye America...

Well, this is it. I'm (almost) all packed and ready to go tomorrow. It's out the door at 9 am, then two planes, a bus, and two trains later I finally get to Trento. All told, it's about (...counting on fingers) oh, I don't know, 20 hours of travelling? I don't know, I end up with two different numbers depending on how I count. This is why I majored in history, I guess :-p But yeah, a lot of time on the metaphorical road. (cause really it's air and train tracks and all) So next time I post here, the date stamps will actually be accurate!

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me back; I hope to keep hearing from you all throughout the semester. I'll be back in a couple of days with plenty of whining about travel woes, I'm sure. =)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Trento!


Since no one actually knows where Trento is, I realize I should post a map or something. So here you go! Hopefully you can read it. (click on the map for a bigger version) If you look in the northeast corner of Italy, you can see Trento. It's about 40 minutes from Venice, I'm told.

As you can see, my packing is going excellently...This is my partial pile of "things I need to shove in a suitcase." Well, not shove, pack properly, of course. But now my dad is out of town so I've got to do it all myself (and he's an expert). That's what I get for procrastination.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Just to clarify...

...I'm not actually in Italy yet. I leave Tuesday at 3:30 out of LAX (which means I get to drive up from SD that morning, woo). So right now I'm still packing and getting stuff done. But I'm very impressed--Tram sure keeps up with facebook profiles! =)

I tried

Ok, I tried to post a picture in the profile section here, but after waaaay to long of fiddling with these darn programs, I have to conclude it's just not going to work. I need a picture online with a url, but the only one I can get doesn't work for some reason ("link broken," I'm told). So screw it, you'll just have to remember what I look like instead of seeing a picture. Or just ask Mike for a picture, he has a million. And I can actually post pics in the blog itself, so hopefully I'll get to do that and you can all see the snow under which I am buried.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My First Post

Hi everybody! Of course, no one is actually reading this yet, because I just made this blog, but in time you'll probably catch up with this in the archives. Still in the States, of course, but I was bored and decided to get this blog party started. When I was setting it up, I realized that I should probably pick the time zone that matched me in Italy instead of just picking Pacific like I always do--now that was weird. I'm also trying out this whole "have the dates in Italian" thing, so let me know what you think of it. It's like a little bit of Italy for all of you. =) Plus, who knows, maybe you'll pick up a few words, and of course there's nothing more important than knowing how to say the date if you're lost in a foreign country. I'll probably do another "introductory" post later, so for now I'll leave this as is so I can see what it looks like posted. Ciao!